Cause of Chronic Lower back pain?


Q: Hi 7 weeks ago after having a coughing fit i was in pain with my back, i get pains down my legs and on the left side of my back and sometimes i get like aching pains in my neck. The 1st visit to my drs i saw a nurse who gave me a perscription for ibuprofen 600mg tablets which really didnt do much, my 2nd visit to the drs i was perscribed zydol 50mg capsules which when i took just 1 did very little and when i took 2 they knocked me out so much that all i did was sleep, but the dr did warn me this could happen, my 3rd visit i seen a different dr as the 1st dr was on leave and she told to bend over felt my back and said yes i can feel it and it is twisted i dont really know what she was refering to but she said something about a spasm,but she perscribed me dicloflex 50mg and co-codamol and she was refering me to see a phyisotherapist that was last wednesday she said i would receive an appointment in the post but today my husband called in the drs because i hadnt heard anything and the receptionist still had the letter to post on her desk. My sick note runs out on the 31st of october amd after speaking to the phyisotherapist's reception this afternoon they have told me that if they receive the letter tomorrow or monday i will have a 2 week wait for an appointment if i am lucky. I am in so much pain unless i take the zydol tablets i am getting no sleep. Shouldnt i have been sent for an xray or something before now?????


A:   I can understand that your back pain is causing you concern. Your back pain could be cause due to musculoskeletal strain or trauma, nerve root irritation, herniated disc or spinal disc degeneration.
In most of the cases  X-rays are not considered useful in evaluating a case of back pain and will be warranted only if there is history of trauma, osteoporosis or steroid use, history of cancer, infection and fever, IV drug users, loss of bladder and bowel function. In your case since the pain is long standing, you may ask the doctor for an x-ray, blood tests (CBC and ESR), and an electromyogram to see whether there is nerve root damage. I hope the information helps, take care.

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